And so, while romance is often treated as a static genre, I prefer to think of it as a sprawling, decades-long intergenerational discussion (sometimes polite, sometimes a bare-knuckle brawl) among women about what constitutes love, how one finds a partner that's worth putting up with the occasional tantrums and dirty socks. Scenes that disturb the modern reader nevertheless paved the way for the more sex-positive genre we enjoy today.Lots of articles are discovering feminism in romance novels, a genre historically neglected as being for women and having such restrictive plot rules that it could never be more than paint-by-numbers.
Is it possible for a genre of fiction to re-dress a people? "Bonnet rippers" are overwhelmingly written by evangelical Christians whose worldview is very different from the Amish culture their books ostensibly depict. Their Amish readers respond to this cultural gap in various ways.
Should a politician's "artistic endeavors" come into play when voters go to the polls? George Allen thinks that parts of his opponent, Jim Webb's, novels are demeaning to women and contain depictions of incest. Also, Republican candidate for Texas Comptroller, Susan Combs, is being accused of writing porngraphy because of excerpts like these from a romance novel she wrote 15 years ago. And they're not the only politicians who've written naughty things.